In a letter dated today (PDF), the FCC approved the renewal application and assigned the license for WFCL to Nashville Public Radio. The non-commercial FM station was formerly Vanderbilt University’s college radio station WRVU-FM (see my profile of the station from 2010).
Back in 2011, students were taken off the air at WRVU and the group responsible for the license (Vanderbilt Student Communications) entered into an agreement allowing Nashville Public Radio to use the FM channel to air classical music programming. Part of the deal included a provision that Vanderbilt Student Communications would eventually sell the FM license to Nashville Public Radio. Protests ensued, largely organized by the non-profit WRVU Friends and Family. This group filed a Petition to Deny the license renewal in July 2012 and an informal objection against the license assignment in September, 2012. Both petitions were dismissed today, allowing for WFCL’s license renewal (which had been in limbo since August 2012) and assignment to Nashville Public Radio.
Today’s news marks the end of a long saga over the fate of the FM version of WRVU. Back in 2010 there was initial talk that WRVU could be up for sale and this was revealed to be true in June 2011 when it was announced that there were plans to sell the license to Nashville Public Radio. The station’s call letters were changed to WFCL and students were locked out of the studio as plans were made to begin airing classical music (aka Classical 91 One) over 91.1 FM. In August, 2012, Vanderbilt Student Communications filed an application with the FCC to assign the license for WFCL to Nashville Public Radio.
Still maintaining hope for a terrestrial signal, even if it wasn’t on the campus of Vanderbilt, WRVU Friends and Family applied for a low power FM license in Nashville and is awaiting word from the FCC.
Although students lost access to Vanderbilt’s FM station, WRVU has continued on-campus as Internet radio station WRVU.org.
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